When People Are Big and God Is Small
However you put it, the fear of man can be summarized this way: We replace God with people. Instead of a biblically guided fear of the Lord, we fear others. Of course, the “fear of man” goes by other names. When we are in our teens, it is called “peer pressure.” When we are older, it is called “people-pleasing.” Recently, it has been called “codependency.” With these labels in mind, we can spot the fear of man everywhere. Diagnosis is fairly straightforward. - Have you ever struggled with peer pressure? “Peer pressure” is simply a euphemism for the fear of man. - Are you over-committed? Do you find that it is hard to say no even when wisdom indicates that you should? Are you are a “people-pleaser,” another euphemism for the fear of man ? - Do you “need” something from your spouse? Do you “need” your spouse to listen to you? Respect you? Think carefully here. Certainly God is pleased when there is good communication and a mutual honor between spouses. But for many people, the desire for these things has roots in something that is far from God’s design for his image-bearers. Unless you understand the biblical parameters of marital commitment, your spouse will become the one you fear. Your spouse will control you. Your spouse will quietly take the place of God in your life. - Is self-esteem a critical concern for you? This, at least in the United States, is the most popular way that the fear of other people is expressed. If self-esteem is a recurring theme for you, chances are that your life revolves around what others think. You reverence or fear their opinions. You need them to buttress your sense of well-being and identity. You need them to fill you up. - Do you ever feel as if you might be exposed as an impostor? Many business executives and apparently successful people do. The sense of being exposed is an expression of the fear of man. It means that the opinions of other people — especially their possible opinion that you are a failure — are able to control you. - Are you always second-guessing decisions because of what other people might think? Are you afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes? - Do you feel empty or meaningless? Do you experience “love hunger”? Here again, if you need others to fill you, you are controlled by them. - Do you get easily embarrassed? If so, people and their perceived opinions probably define you. Or, to use biblical language, you exalt the opinions of others to the point where you are ruled by them. THE problem is clear: People are too big in our lives and God is too small. The answer is straightforward: We must learn to know that our God is more loving and more powerful than we ever imagined. Yet this task is not easy. Even if we worked at the most spectacular of national parks, or the bush in our backyard started burning without being consumed, or Jesus appeared and wrestled a few rounds with us, we would not be guaranteed a persistent reverence of God. Too often our mountain-top experiences are quickly overtaken by the clamor of the world, and God once again is diminished in our minds. The goal is to establish a daily tradition of growing in the knowledge of God.

When People Are Big and God Is Small Details

TitleWhen People Are Big and God Is Small
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 1997
PublisherP & R Publishing
ISBN-139780875526003
Rating
GenreChristian, Psychology, Counselling, Christian Living, Religion, Christianity, Nonfiction, Theology

When People Are Big and God Is Small Review

  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    This book helped me see the shortcomings of modern need-based psychology and even modern Christian psychology with its tripartite view of man. "To look to Christ to meet our perceived psychological needs is to Christianize our lusts. We are asking God to give us what we want, so we can feel better about ourselves, or so we can have more happiness, not holiness, in our lives" (p. 150)."The most basic question of human existence becomes 'How can I bring glory to God?'--not 'How will God meet my ps This book helped me see the shortcomings of modern need-based psychology and even modern Christian psychology with its tripartite view of man. "To look to Christ to meet our perceived psychological needs is to Christianize our lusts. We are asking God to give us what we want, so we can feel better about ourselves, or so we can have more happiness, not holiness, in our lives" (p. 150)."The most basic question of human existence becomes 'How can I bring glory to God?'--not 'How will God meet my psychological longings?' These differences create very different tugs on our hearts: one constantly pulls us outward toward God, the other first pulls inward toward ourselves" (p. 158). This book also helped me really understand what the fear of the Lord really is. Just a quick quote:"If you have ever walked among giant redwoods, you will never be be overwhelmed by the size of a dogwood tree. Or if you have ever been through a hurricane, a spring rain is nothing to fear. If you have been in the presence of the almighty God, everything that once controlled you suddenly has less power"(p. 119).
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  • David Luna
    January 1, 1970
    I remember reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren in 2002, and the opening sentence was "It's not about you". I was startled, like threw the book down startled. Edward Welch has that same effect except it is throughout the entire book. Extremely insightful for Christians living in a "Me First" world. This book is highly recommended. There is no deep theology just brutal truth and embarrassing honesty, which was my guess not easy to write.
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  • Mike E.
    January 1, 1970
    This is blue-collar Christianity at its best. Welch writes a practical, readable guide to dealing with how we usually think about ourselves, God and others. He avoids Christian lingo and theological jargon. With clear and understandable ease he identifies the core struggles that human beings have. The core issue is not self-esteem or self-confidence; we are not "love-cups" that need to find the right people or environment to fill us up. We are "idol factories" that actually long for things and p This is blue-collar Christianity at its best. Welch writes a practical, readable guide to dealing with how we usually think about ourselves, God and others. He avoids Christian lingo and theological jargon. With clear and understandable ease he identifies the core struggles that human beings have. The core issue is not self-esteem or self-confidence; we are not "love-cups" that need to find the right people or environment to fill us up. We are "idol factories" that actually long for things and people that will glorify self rather than glorify Christ. As we all know, things and people will never ultimately satisfy us. God calls us to love Christ and others. Welch helps people who may have trouble seeing this in the Bible see it very clearly.The book explains the biblical concept called the "fear of man (FOM)." This is when people play a bigger part of our lives (and how we think about ourselves and others) than God. Welch sees three aspects to FOM: 1. We fear people because they can expose or humiliate us. 2. We fear people because they can reject, ridicule, or despise us. 3. We fear people because they can hunt, attack, or threaten us.Welch uses a variety of biblical texts and contemporary case scenarios to show how Christ covers and glorifies the shamed, accepts and glorifies the rejected, and protects and glorifies the threatened. This book will help anyone who wants to break free from the bonds of praise, criticism, or shame that often come from personal relationships. One of the best chapters is "Biblically Examine Your Felt Needs." Welch makes the case that when we look at at a felt need--like, "If only my children would obey me" what we are often really looking at is a "Christianized lust." In other words, when we think that our key to happiness is obedient children we are really far from the will of God. God does want our children to obey us. It is a sin for them to dishonor their parents. But Welch is not looking at the kids in this book. He's looking at the heart of the reader. He argues that our felt needs most often reveal our idols. A godly parent should not be controlled by whether his child obeys or not. Christ alone truly satisfies the soul, nothing else. Not money, a great marriage, or obedient children. A key sentence in the book is this:"To look to Christ to meet our perceived psychological needs is to Christianize our lusts. We are asking God to give us what we want, _so we can feel better about ourselves,_ or so we can have more happiness, not holiness, in our lives (150)."
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  • Bambi Moore
    January 1, 1970
    2014: Great book, particularly the last half. I realized how much I had bought into some psychobabble over the years (as Welch mentions, it is in the air we breathe, like smog). Viewing ourselves as cups to be filled (I.e. "Love tanks") looking for other people to meet our needs, versus seeing ourselves as full pitchers of Christ's love, just waiting to be spilled over and out onto others, has renewed my thinking. We have fear of men because of potential rejection, their ability to shame us. But 2014: Great book, particularly the last half. I realized how much I had bought into some psychobabble over the years (as Welch mentions, it is in the air we breathe, like smog). Viewing ourselves as cups to be filled (I.e. "Love tanks") looking for other people to meet our needs, versus seeing ourselves as full pitchers of Christ's love, just waiting to be spilled over and out onto others, has renewed my thinking. We have fear of men because of potential rejection, their ability to shame us. But God has already covered our shame and will never reject us, no matter how unfaithful. This book has helped me see my way to love more, need less.2019: 5 stars. Not sure why I didn’t give this 5 stars the first time. Possibly it was just more meaningful to me this time. Welch writes with such humility and great insight. This is a fantastic read.
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  • Tom Sussex
    January 1, 1970
    I was trying to work out how to describe this book when I saw another review on here that said: "this book will crush you, then liberate you". I couldn't agree more! The author does an excellently biblical job of showing the freedom that can be found when we turn our focus away from ourselves and towards God. The book's overarching message (and I hope I remember it) is this:Fear of man can be overcome when we stop seeing ourselves as cups that need to be filled by other people, and instead as pi I was trying to work out how to describe this book when I saw another review on here that said: "this book will crush you, then liberate you". I couldn't agree more! The author does an excellently biblical job of showing the freedom that can be found when we turn our focus away from ourselves and towards God. The book's overarching message (and I hope I remember it) is this:Fear of man can be overcome when we stop seeing ourselves as cups that need to be filled by other people, and instead as pitchers overflowing with the love that has been poured upon us. As Christians, we are to love people more than we need them.
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  • Kaitlyn Pindak
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best and most highly recommended books I have ever read. As a fellow church member said, “it will crush and liberate you because of what it reveals in your heart.” I’ve never had a better and more appropriate book recommendation. We don’t need to be more self-aware; we need a greater fear of the Lord and to starve our fear of man. We need our eyes fixed on the One we were made to worship.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Man, this packed a punch! Such a helpful articulation of who we are in light of who God is & what we truly “need”!
  • David Harris
    January 1, 1970
    How much does the fear of man prevent us from living for Christ? Probably more than you think. Reading this book opened my eyes to a multi-faceted issue I struggle with: having a low view of God (God is too small) and having a high view of man (man is too big). Fear to evangelize, failure to confront other believers about sin, not making changes in my life for fear of what others think, and caring more about expectations of men than of God, all can be summarized by the title of this book. This b How much does the fear of man prevent us from living for Christ? Probably more than you think. Reading this book opened my eyes to a multi-faceted issue I struggle with: having a low view of God (God is too small) and having a high view of man (man is too big). Fear to evangelize, failure to confront other believers about sin, not making changes in my life for fear of what others think, and caring more about expectations of men than of God, all can be summarized by the title of this book. This book was massively influential for me for two reasons. First it helped me identify all the areas in my life where fear of man was a problem. Second, Welch shows the reader how to study God's Word and understand how big He really is. This will be one of those books I will read over and over again.
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  • Arielle Salazar
    January 1, 1970
    This was an excellent read! A very convicting read that highlights the importance of fearing and revering God which is the root of how we view others and ourselves. Such a great book! I recommend this to every Christian!
  • Jordan Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Certainly the most convicting book I have read in recent years, Welch exposes the fear of man that all people struggle with in some measure. My pastor recommended this book for me and I highly recommend it to you. Part 1 discusses how and why we fear people and part 2 explains how to overcome that fear. As a person grows in the fear of the Lord, he will learn to not let people control him. As Welch frequently states throughout the book, "We are to need people less and love them more."Where I've Certainly the most convicting book I have read in recent years, Welch exposes the fear of man that all people struggle with in some measure. My pastor recommended this book for me and I highly recommend it to you. Part 1 discusses how and why we fear people and part 2 explains how to overcome that fear. As a person grows in the fear of the Lord, he will learn to not let people control him. As Welch frequently states throughout the book, "We are to need people less and love them more."Where I've been convicted-Ed Welch challenges the Christian to evaluate his motives for obedience to God and discipline in Christian duties (i.e. Bible reading, prayer, serving the Church). Are we doing such things so we can feel better about ourselves? If so, we are wrongfully using Christ to fulfill our own lusts. Welch goes on to explain that most of our perceived "needs" are actually selfish desires. Our greatest need is not to be happy; our greatest need is to glorify God.I've also been convicted of how casual I am with my own sin. The following quote illustrates it well.P. 100 "Our sinful nature can give us a sense that we are OK. Better yet, we are good. Of course, we occasionally do bad things. We might yell too loudly, or we might pick up some pornography at the airport. In these cases we should ask God's forgiveness. But, on the whole, we tend to be fairly good. And if we think we are usually good, then God is usually irrelevant."How true is that last sentence? Such dangerous thinking leads us away from revering God as we should. The rest of the book is packed with convicting moments like this. Seriously, pick up a copy and read it!Underlined QuotesP. 67-68 "If she think she is beyond Grace, she should be corrected. Such thinking is based on the on the unbiblical assumption that our works can either keep us away from God or move us toward him. It is a denial of grace itself. It suggests that there is some righteous act she must perform in order to meet God halfway. This, however, has nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus. The gospel is only available to people who know they are unclean."P. 135 "Daily stops in the court of the Lord cure the fear of man." P. 107 "A growing knowledge of God displaces the fear of people, and it casts out our tendency to be casual with our secret sins."P. 123 "When the fear of the Lord matures in you, Christ becomes irresistible."P. 170 "This is the time when you must be controlled by the truth of God more than your own feelings. God's word, not feelings, is our standard. To be driven by our fluctuating sense of well-being may seem spiritual, but it is wrong. It exalts our interpretation above God's."
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  • Chris Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    This book has been on the "to read" list for almost two years, and I just now got around to getting it read. My only regret is not having ready it sooner.The book is divided into two sections. "How and Why We Fear Others," the first section deals with fear of man, where it comes from, and how it plays out in our lives daily. The best chapter, in my opinion, was chapter five, "The World Wants Me to Fear People." It is in this chapter that Welch points out the various ways that culture has made fe This book has been on the "to read" list for almost two years, and I just now got around to getting it read. My only regret is not having ready it sooner.The book is divided into two sections. "How and Why We Fear Others," the first section deals with fear of man, where it comes from, and how it plays out in our lives daily. The best chapter, in my opinion, was chapter five, "The World Wants Me to Fear People." It is in this chapter that Welch points out the various ways that culture has made fear of man respectable and the aim of most of its counseling. Welch covers some modern assumptions about God and man, and from there dives into how modern psychology and even biblical psychology play off of these assumptions. The end result of dealing with assumptions rather than the Bible, for biblical psychologists, pastors, leaders, etc., is a reinforcement of the fear of man rather than freedom that comes from the fear of God.The second section, "Overcoming the Fear of Others," applies biblical fear of the Lord to our profound and often frustrating issues surround the fear of man and ourselves. This section is rich with practical and applied theology, which is a breath of fresh air. The best chapter from this section, in my opinion, was chapter twelve. Here, right at the end of the book, Welch ties in the fear of man giving way to fear of God and how that plays out in the life of the church. I always hope for a chapter in any book that justifies, by itself, the purchase of said book and for me this was that chapter. When we rightly fear God, and not man, we have a desire to be with other believers to help magnify and showcase the God whom we fear (worship, hold in awe). Right fear of God always leads to worship and enjoyment of God and we want our brothers and sisters to join with us in "displaying the manifold wisdom of God."I highly recommend this book for pastors, elders, deacons, small group leaders, etc. who have a shepherding component to their church service. Most churches are healthiest when they have staff (paid or lay) who can triage persons in need of counsel. This book provides a great starting framework to begin to understand how best to love and care for the people under your care. Get it and start reading today.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    Welch's thesis is rather jarring to anyone raised in modern-day America where the individual is king and low self-esteem is a heinous offense. I kept thinking some of his statements lacked the appropriate nuances, but that may have just been me looking for an out. Ha. I will say I liked what he was saying a good deal more than how he was saying it---but that's true of a lot of his books for me. And since I can't think of any other books that address "low self-esteem" in Biblical terms (idolatry, Welch's thesis is rather jarring to anyone raised in modern-day America where the individual is king and low self-esteem is a heinous offense. I kept thinking some of his statements lacked the appropriate nuances, but that may have just been me looking for an out. Ha. I will say I liked what he was saying a good deal more than how he was saying it---but that's true of a lot of his books for me. And since I can't think of any other books that address "low self-esteem" in Biblical terms (idolatry, fear of man, etc.), I'd definitely recommend it as food for thought.I also can't help but think it'd counterbalance a lot of well-meaning marriage books, which tend to obsess over needs. (Isn't there even one called "His Needs / Her Needs?") They constant chirp that a husband *needs* respect, and a wife *needs* security -- when these are, in fact, desires/longings/lusts. True needs are biological and spiritual, not psychological. We are called to mirror God's attributes to our spouses (including respect, security, and love) but we do this for God's glory and our spouse's sanctification, not because we are called to fill our spouse's "love tank." (And not so we can get ours filled in return...) I'm not married, obviously, but I feel like that's going to be a huge temptation of mine, and I'm glad I'm realizing it now.
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  • Keri Higgins
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is so helpful, encouraging & convicting. Full of scripture, Gospel truths, & wisdom! Must read!
  • Shawn Woo
    January 1, 1970
    http://scarletyarn.com/2012/08/30/whe...Edward Welch insists that fear of man is an insidious sin that every human being deals with one way or another. For an adult, it is called codependency, for an adolescent, peer pressure. It is a desire to be valued and wanted by others that manifests itself in low self-esteem, shame, feelings of rejection, jealousy, anger, and/or preoccupation with external appearance. Welch writes that the fear of man keeps us “in bondage, controlled by others and feeling http://scarletyarn.com/2012/08/30/whe...Edward Welch insists that fear of man is an insidious sin that every human being deals with one way or another. For an adult, it is called codependency, for an adolescent, peer pressure. It is a desire to be valued and wanted by others that manifests itself in low self-esteem, shame, feelings of rejection, jealousy, anger, and/or preoccupation with external appearance. Welch writes that the fear of man keeps us “in bondage, controlled by others and feeling empty,” because we are “controlled by whoever or whatever [we] believe can give [us] what [we] think [we] need” (13). In When People Are Big and God Is Small, Welch exposes this sin from the recesses of our hearts and prescribes ways to counteract it.In order to demonstrate that this seemingly innocuous need to be loved by others is indeed harmful, Welch offers a fascinating critique of our Post-Modern culture. Beginning with Freud and Maslow’s propagation of the idea of psychological need, there has been a gradual shift in our culture from the older moral concern with self-control and self-sacrifice to an emphasis on self-expression, self-realization, and self-fulfillment (86). Underlying this shift is the faulty assumption that human beings are inherently moral and that their emotions (i.e. feelings), therefore, always express what is true and good (81-84). This assumption elevates psychological “needs”(i.e. love, significance, security, etc.) to the level of biological (i.e. food, water, clothes, shelter) and spiritual (i.e. redemption, sanctification, and glorification) needs (138). Many Christians have uncritically accepted this understanding of the human being as psychologically needy, arguing that there is a “God-given need to be loved that is born into every human infant … that must be met from cradle to grave,” and that “if that primal need for love is not met,” we’ll “carry the scars for life” (88).However, Welch contends that this psychological “need,” far from being divinely-ordained in creation, was a consequence of the Fall. It reflects an anthropocentric, rather than a theocentric, worldview. It is a “self-serving [need] … not meant to be satisfied, … [but] put to death” (162-163). In fact, this theory of psychological need is responsible for the unbridled self-ism and victim mentality of our therapeutic culture (89). Welch observes that the idea of “psychological need” has found support in the common conception of a person as body, which has physical needs, soul, which has psychological needs, and spirit, which has spiritual needs. However, he insists that this tripartite view of personhood is inaccurate, because the Bible uses “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably (cf. Mt. 10:28 1 Cor. 7:34; Jas. 2:26). In cases where “soul” and “spirit” are separately mentioned (e.g. Heb. 4:12; 1 Thes. 5:23), the two words form a tandem describing one inner person (141-142). If I may elaborate on Welch’s explanation, “soul and spirit” constitute a hendiadys, a rhetorical construct that expresses a single idea by two words connected with “and.” For example, when John the Baptist says, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mt. 3:11). He is not saying that we need to be baptized with both the Holy Spirit and fire, but rather conveying a single idea of the “fiery Holy Spirit.”But don’t we have genuine, God-given need for other people? Didn’t God create mankind male and female because he deemed it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18)? Didn’t Jesus intend that the Church be an interdependent body of believers that needs its various parts to fulfill their various roles (1 Cor. 12)? Didn’t God command us to love one another (Jn. 13:34-35)? Welch does not discount these realities, but he makes a teleological distinction between these genuine, spiritual needs and pseudo-psychological needs. Psychological needs are inherently self-serving, while spiritual needs are God-honoring. What we really need, writes Welch, is not to feel better about ourselves, but to repent from our ways and obey God. We are called to love others, “not because people have psychological deficits,” but “because God first loved us” (162-163).Our problem, then, is that “we need [people] (for ourselves) more than we love them (for the glory of God)” (19), and Welch’s main thesis is that we need to “need other people less [and] love other people more” (183). This, of course, is not a natural human inclination, and for this reason we need the fear of God. If the fear of man is a centripetal orientation that uses people for one’s own needs, the fear of God is a centrifugal orientation that loves people for God’s glory. But wait, what about 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” That is true, but the fear that is cast out is the terror of God’s judgment. For Christians who have been forgiven of their sins, the fear of God is a reverent submission to God that leads to obedience. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). “The fear of the LORD leads to life” (Prov. 19:23). “To fear the Lord is to hate evil” (Prov. 8:13; Dt. 1:17). In other words, the fear of God involves seeing God as He really is–powerful, awesome, and holy–and humbly submitting to Him. The fear of man puts man under a microscope and makes small people appear big, while the fear of God sets a telescope on God and makes our big God appear as He really is.Welch goes further than most Evangelicals by saying that the “fear of God” rather than the “love of God” is the cure for the “fear of man.” It is true that God loves us, but applying this truth as a psychological balm is little more than a baptized version of Melody Beattie’s prescription that to be Codependent No More one must love him or herself more (18). It spurns personal repentance and condones a self-centered worldview in which God exists merely to boost our self-esteem (18). As Welch puts it, “To look to Christ to meet our perceived psychological needs is to Christianize our lusts. We are asking God to give us what we want, so we can feel better about ourselves, or so we can have more happiness, not holiness, in our lives” (150). The antidote for the fear of man is not to think more highly of ourselves, but to think more rightly, and therefore more highly, of God. Then, we will not think so much about what other people think of us and more about how we can love them.Those who have weathered a hurricane are not concerned about the spring rain. Those who have “walked among the giant redwoods [are] never … overwhelmed by the size of a dogwood tree” (119). In the same way, those who have been in the presence of God fear no man:“Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him and consumes His foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all peoples see His glory” (Ps. 97:2-6).Welch’s simple, yet profound, little book offers a welcome alternative to the plethora of self-help books that pander to our self-centered worldviews.
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  • Anna Chviedaruk
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book helped me to track down those hidden lies and sins that have paralized my life for so long. It's a theurapeutic book which deals with self-esteem, people pleasing, values, and self-image in a very honest and deep way. Pride is not always what we are used to call it. But this book helps to identify to real deal about a self. Highly recommend it to everyone, actually. You may be surprised at yourself.
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  • Rex Blackburn
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, I liked it! Any time we get to dogpile on the shortcomings of modern psychology, I'm all in. Welch exposes the inherent weaknesses that exist in our needs-focused, self-centered mindset, offering instead a high view of God and a life centered on His glory. I found chapter 5 most helpful.
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  • Josiah
    January 1, 1970
    This was a truly excellent book that not only was a fantastic analysis and deconstruction of our culture's messed-up understanding of self-esteem, but was also a book that I personally needed to read and learn from. The book's central goal is to help its readers to fear God more than man, and the more Welch unpacked what a fear of man looks like, the more and more clearly I could see it in the culture and in my own life as well. Welch's love for people comes clearly through in this book, as well This was a truly excellent book that not only was a fantastic analysis and deconstruction of our culture's messed-up understanding of self-esteem, but was also a book that I personally needed to read and learn from. The book's central goal is to help its readers to fear God more than man, and the more Welch unpacked what a fear of man looks like, the more and more clearly I could see it in the culture and in my own life as well. Welch's love for people comes clearly through in this book, as well as his refusal to avoid giving the hard truths when they need to be told. Pastoral in nature, Welch gives a lot of wise advice on how we can spot this fear of man present in our lives and how we can best overthrow it by cultivating a deeper fear of God. It's hard for me to fully encompass in this review how good this book was, so I'm going to settle by saying this and then including some of my favorite quotes below. This is a book that I think a lot of people in our culture need to read. And it was a book that I needed to read as well. So this book comes with my heartiest recommendations.Rating: 4.5-5 Stars (Extremely Good).Select Quotes:"We are more concerned about looking stupid (a fear of people) than we are about acting sinfully (fear of the Lord." (40)"'Needs' or 'rights' lead irresistibly into fear of man. If you 'need' love (to feel okay about yourself), you will soon be controlled by the one who dispenses love." (87)"If we think that sin is in any way superficial, then we do not understand the true nature of sin. When psychological needs, rather than sin, are seen as our primary problem, not only is our self-understanding affected, but the Gospel itself is changed. The good news of Jesus is not intended to make us feel good about ourselves. Instead, the good news humbles us." (146)"Is it possible that we are called to love not because other people are empty and need love (to feel better about themselves) but because love is the way in which we imitate Christ and bring glory to God?" (147)"Don't we do children a disservice by showering them with unearned approval? The self-respect the schools are seeking to bestow comes only as a person develops a growing ability to meet difficult tasks, risk failure, and overcome obstacles. You can't simply confer self-esteem upon another person. To assume that other people can control our view of ourselves is what creates low self-esteem in the first place!" (29)"There is something about the power of God, not to mention the thought of Hell, that cuts through the painful introspection associated with the fear of others." (72)"We need more sermons that leave us trembling." (96)"God's Word, not feelings, is our standard. To be driven by our fluctuating sense of well-being may seem spiritual, but it is wrong. It exalts our interpretation above God's." (170)
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I really like this book. I've read it a couple times. An ongoing theme throughout the book is "love people more and need them less". Meaning that we shouldn't need people to make us feel happy or fulfilled.One section talks about how people are our idol of choice. We give them more power over us than God. We want people to fill us with love, respect and acceptance. As with any idol, it soon owns us. "The object we fear overcomes us. Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rul I really like this book. I've read it a couple times. An ongoing theme throughout the book is "love people more and need them less". Meaning that we shouldn't need people to make us feel happy or fulfilled.One section talks about how people are our idol of choice. We give them more power over us than God. We want people to fill us with love, respect and acceptance. As with any idol, it soon owns us. "The object we fear overcomes us. Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rules us. It tells us how to think, what to feel, and how to act. It tells us what to wear, it tells us to laugh at a dirty joke, and it tells us to be frightened to death that we might have to get up in front of a group and say something....We never expect that using people to meet our desires leaves us enslaved to them." p46 The book goes on to describe things in our lives that may indicate that people are our idols.-think and feel responsible for other people-feel compelled to help people solve their problems-get tired of feeling like they always give to others but no one gives to them-blame, blame, blame-feel unappreciated-fear rejection-focus all energy on people and their problems-let other people hurt them and never say anything-feel angry-feel like martyrsThe book talks about how sometimes we give too much priority to our feelings and emotions. "I feel like this is God's will." "I feel like this is the right thing to do." This kind of reasoning puts our feelings above God, making our own emotions an idol.This book makes me step back and see idols in my life that I didn't know were there. I would recommend this book to everyone, because I think we all struggle with this on some level.
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  • Maris McKay
    January 1, 1970
    I have such mixed feelings about this book. The first few chapters were strongly written and personally convicting with the idea that our fears and anxieties about other people happen because we don't have a proper view of God's power and sovereignty. I agree that we let fear of man get in the way of a correct relationship with God far too often, and that a big part of the solution is to focus less on ourselves and more on God.However, I feel that in proposing a solution Edward Welch went a litt I have such mixed feelings about this book. The first few chapters were strongly written and personally convicting with the idea that our fears and anxieties about other people happen because we don't have a proper view of God's power and sovereignty. I agree that we let fear of man get in the way of a correct relationship with God far too often, and that a big part of the solution is to focus less on ourselves and more on God.However, I feel that in proposing a solution Edward Welch went a little too extreme. He's reacting against the idea that we're empty cups who need God to fill-up our longings and desires, but he takes his reaction so far as to claim we don't have any psychological needs at all. We only have spiritual and physical needs, and that's what God supplies.I would argue, however, that not all our psychological needs are "Christianized lusts." We can definitely turn our needs/desires into idols, but that doesn't mean (for example) that a child's craving for affection and safety is based in a wicked self-absorption. There's far too much emphasis in the Bible on God's desire for a heart, mind, and soul connection with His people for Him not to care about the state of our inner self (mental, emotional, and spiritual).This book would have been wonderful if it had been more about putting our psychological and emotional needs in the proper context rather than trying to deny they exist at all. Much of the information is helpful, but I wish there had been more of a balanced view regarding God's loving kindness to "supply every need of yours," as Paul talks about in Philippians 4.
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  • Brandon Wilkins
    January 1, 1970
    This a solid study of a common problem, which is codependency and the fear of man.The book divides up into two sections. Part One: "How and Why We Fear Others." Part Two: "Overcoming the Fear of Others."In brief, Welch's argument is that the fear of man can only be overcome by learning to fear God. Of course, "fearing God" is a potentially misleading concept--does it mean we need to be afraid of God instead of being afraid of people? Not necessarily. In fact, Welch's argument is that ultimately This a solid study of a common problem, which is codependency and the fear of man.The book divides up into two sections. Part One: "How and Why We Fear Others." Part Two: "Overcoming the Fear of Others."In brief, Welch's argument is that the fear of man can only be overcome by learning to fear God. Of course, "fearing God" is a potentially misleading concept--does it mean we need to be afraid of God instead of being afraid of people? Not necessarily. In fact, Welch's argument is that ultimately the 'fear' we should have of God is something more like awe and trust. The bigger our view of God, the sooner people will fall into a proper perspective in our lives.The book is well illustrated with examples, loaded with application, and biblical teaching, and points us to the ultimate one to be feared and to be amazed by: the crucified God who hung on a cross for our sins, Jesus, the Son of God.This is a great book. Plain and simple. My one quibble with it, though, is that Welch seems to dismiss the concept of "psychological needs" (pp. 139-140)--the need for love, affirmation, and acceptance from other people. Maybe I'm reading him wrong (I hope so!). But I would definitely say I disagree with his viewpoint as I currently understand it. The psychological need for acceptance, affirmation, and love is a by-product of our humanness and of the fact we were made to be in relationships with others (Gen. 2 "it is not good for man to be alone...").This quibble aside, everything else in the book is gold.
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  • Tung
    January 1, 1970
    In describing the Ten Plagues that befell Egypt in Exodus, Pastor Voddie Bauchem noted that they were not merely meant to get the Israelites out of Egypt; they were also meant to get Egypt out of the Israelites. That is, it is important to God that secular worldviews are rooted out of the heart of His people. In this book, Welch identifies a critical worldview that far too often plagues Christians: we fear people more than we fear God. We fear them because they can expose our shortcomings; we fe In describing the Ten Plagues that befell Egypt in Exodus, Pastor Voddie Bauchem noted that they were not merely meant to get the Israelites out of Egypt; they were also meant to get Egypt out of the Israelites. That is, it is important to God that secular worldviews are rooted out of the heart of His people. In this book, Welch identifies a critical worldview that far too often plagues Christians: we fear people more than we fear God. We fear them because they can expose our shortcomings; we fear their rejection and ridicule; and we fear their retaliation and oppression. Welch also unpacks how we have a broken conception of the word “need”. The world teaches us that we have psychological and emotional needs; that it is good for us to pursue their fulfillment to achieve happiness. But the Christian needs to understand that outside of biological needs like food and water, the only real need we have is spiritual. The solution to both our fear of men and our broken perspective on need is allowing God to be bigger in our lives. That comes primarily from understanding how to properly fear the LORD (as Welch defines it “reverent submission that leads to obedience”). I found Welch’s description of the problem to be insightful, and his grounding of the issues and their solutions to be Biblical. I also liked that Welch structured each chapter to be like a textbook with additional recommended reads for those that wish to dig into the topics even more deeply. Recommended.
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  • Elena
    January 1, 1970
    Fear of man can take different faces. It can look like peer pressure, perfectionism, people pleasing, or actual fear of threat from another person. As Christians, fear of man is to be replaced with a healthy fear of the Lord (a deep awe-inspiring respect and knowledge of how big and great and good our God is). The natural inverse correlation between allowing people to be big (fear of man) is that we make God small in our own eyes. Similarly, Welch digs into why popular needs-based psychology is Fear of man can take different faces. It can look like peer pressure, perfectionism, people pleasing, or actual fear of threat from another person. As Christians, fear of man is to be replaced with a healthy fear of the Lord (a deep awe-inspiring respect and knowledge of how big and great and good our God is). The natural inverse correlation between allowing people to be big (fear of man) is that we make God small in our own eyes. Similarly, Welch digs into why popular needs-based psychology is not the answer to overcoming fear of man. He argues that we can overcome our fear of man issues only when we have a clearer view of God and when our focus is on making him (rather than our perceived needs or even desires) our number one priority. This book is packed full of practical truth in battling fear of man issues. There were a few areas towards the end I felt were dragging on, but overall a great resource.
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  • Kevin Naylor
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most helpful books I've ever read. Welch outlines the problem: what we "need" is what controls us. So when we feel we need people for validation, security, affirmation, approval, love, etc we allow them to control us. They get determine how we think, feel, and respond on a minute to minute basis. This leaves us discouraged, unhappy, confused, hurt, bitter, distant, angry, etc. Fearing others prevents us from loving others. He helps us see biblically what is that we truly need. This is one of the most helpful books I've ever read. Welch outlines the problem: what we "need" is what controls us. So when we feel we need people for validation, security, affirmation, approval, love, etc we allow them to control us. They get determine how we think, feel, and respond on a minute to minute basis. This leaves us discouraged, unhappy, confused, hurt, bitter, distant, angry, etc. Fearing others prevents us from loving others. He helps us see biblically what is that we truly need. What we need is not so much to be loved by others as to love others. How do we get there? That's the difficult work of fearing, or exalting/being in awe/trusting in, God and not man. The answer is to learn to fear God. In direct proportion, as our fear of God goes up our fear of man goes down and vice versa. As marketed: a truly life changing resource!
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  • Duski
    January 1, 1970
    This book could really change a life that is willing to be instructed by it. I definitely want to read it again. In this first read, it really opened my eyes so much to the ways I view myself and my own perceived needs, and how I look to others to meet those perceived needs. A huge takeaway phrase: "Need people less, love people more." Also, I was struck by the idea that it's not really about whether I am thinking too highly of myself or too poorly of myself in an interaction with another, it's This book could really change a life that is willing to be instructed by it. I definitely want to read it again. In this first read, it really opened my eyes so much to the ways I view myself and my own perceived needs, and how I look to others to meet those perceived needs. A huge takeaway phrase: "Need people less, love people more." Also, I was struck by the idea that it's not really about whether I am thinking too highly of myself or too poorly of myself in an interaction with another, it's more about how much I am thinking about myself at all! I can see clearly that there is a lot of work for the Spirit to do in my heart, and this book really made me desire to cooperate with Him more. I highly recommend reading it!
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  • Reid
    January 1, 1970
    Sub-title: Overcoming Pressure, Co-Dependency, and the Fear of Man.Pretty much says it all. As Christians, we are not empty cups that need to be filled by other people or things. God is our resource.When we fear man, to the point of idolatry, God indeed is small. The idols we worship, soon own us.Solution:Know, grow in the Fear of God.Here he does a really good job of talking of the spectrum of the topic of fear of God, from "reverence" to abject "terror" in relation to God. Good thoughts.What w Sub-title: Overcoming Pressure, Co-Dependency, and the Fear of Man.Pretty much says it all. As Christians, we are not empty cups that need to be filled by other people or things. God is our resource.When we fear man, to the point of idolatry, God indeed is small. The idols we worship, soon own us.Solution:Know, grow in the Fear of God.Here he does a really good job of talking of the spectrum of the topic of fear of God, from "reverence" to abject "terror" in relation to God. Good thoughts.What we "need", what controls us, where we put our trust - all are the same thing.
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  • Rob McCutcheon
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot commend this book more highly. All followers of Christ - and those who do not yet know our Loving Savior - will find deep deep wisdom, insight, and guidance from one of the best. This book will reshape your relationships, if you let it. It will point you to your true need and away from what you merely think you need. We all give others a place of too much prominence in our lives; it’s time we started restoring the true balance of who should really command our attention, time, and devoti I cannot commend this book more highly. All followers of Christ - and those who do not yet know our Loving Savior - will find deep deep wisdom, insight, and guidance from one of the best. This book will reshape your relationships, if you let it. It will point you to your true need and away from what you merely think you need. We all give others a place of too much prominence in our lives; it’s time we started restoring the true balance of who should really command our attention, time, and devotion.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    This book is probably under the category of "Christian Self-Help" but really, it isn't a self-help book. It really should be under "Bible study" or "Topical Devotionals." Self help books are like candy, they make you feel good at the time, but really once you're done with them, you're done. This is more like trying to give up sugar. It doesn't feel very good and you don't really like it, but after a while, your tastes actually change. Perhaps I can update this with a more insightful review later This book is probably under the category of "Christian Self-Help" but really, it isn't a self-help book. It really should be under "Bible study" or "Topical Devotionals." Self help books are like candy, they make you feel good at the time, but really once you're done with them, you're done. This is more like trying to give up sugar. It doesn't feel very good and you don't really like it, but after a while, your tastes actually change. Perhaps I can update this with a more insightful review later.
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  • Daniel Joshua
    January 1, 1970
    I don't remember why I had rated this three stars. After coming back to this book I have realized how much it influenced me. I highly recommend it to anyone who has trouble with trying to please people and not God. In fact I would recommend it to anyone for that matter. His writing is thoughtful and complete. He followed all his claims through carefully and clearly. For someone like me who is deeply internalized it helped put man-pleasing and suchlike in subordination to serving God with a whole I don't remember why I had rated this three stars. After coming back to this book I have realized how much it influenced me. I highly recommend it to anyone who has trouble with trying to please people and not God. In fact I would recommend it to anyone for that matter. His writing is thoughtful and complete. He followed all his claims through carefully and clearly. For someone like me who is deeply internalized it helped put man-pleasing and suchlike in subordination to serving God with a whole heart.
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  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    Welch asserts that "worldly presuppositions are in the air we breathe." Page after page left me realizing how influenced I've been by man's "wisdom" instead of God's. Welch fleshes out well the truth that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Especially helpful are the practical applications he offers at the end of each chapter. I read this on a Kindle, but this book is hardcopy-worthy, one to return to often and one to mark up well.
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Great read for those of us (which is pretty much all of us!!) who fear man more than God. Welch really digs deep into the reasons we fear man and how our fear stems from a lack of fear of God. Best quote: "We are to love people more and need people less."I don't give a perfect review because at times the read got a little dry and I got bogged down in the psychology of it all. I would have preferred more practical, tangible advice and solutions to overcoming the fear of man.
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